Deborah A. Roach
Plant Evolutionary Ecology
University of Virginia - Biology Department - Gilmer Hall Room 047
Office: (434)982-4858 Lab: (434)982-5273

Lab Photo Spring 2015

Current/recent Members of the Roach Lab


Carolyn Beans PhD (graduate student)

  • Carolyn completed her dissertation in Spring 2014 that focused on competition-driven selection on a native plant following a species invasion.  She is currently working as a technical writer at the National Institutes of Health. Check out her Roadside Science Blog.

Melissa Aikens PhD (graduate student)

  • Melissa completed her dissertation on the population dynamics across the range of the Southern Appalachian endemic plant, Prenanthes roanensis in 2013.  Her current research is focused on STEM education and she has a postdoc at the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Texas, Austin.

Danielle Racke (graduate student)

  • Danielle completed her MA in December 2014 and did a project on population variation in inbreeding in Mimulus ringens.

Kelsie Hunnicutt (undergraduate)

  • Kelsie completed her Distinguished Majors Project in Spring 2015.  She studied the correlation between variation in early-life traits and the rate of inbreeding in Mimulus ringens.  Her work was supported by a Small Research Grant from the College of Arts & Sciences and through an Ingrassia Family Echols Scholars Research Grant.

Julie Hong (undergraduate)

  • Julie is doing an experiment with Plantago to determine the age-dependent response to competition. She will do a Distinguished Majors Project in the lab in 2015-16.

Brandie Quarles (undergraduate)

  • Brandie joined the lab as a participant in the Undergraduate Student Opportunities for Academic Research (USOAR) Program.  She collaborated with Julie on a project on age and competition, and also worked with Kelsie on her project on inbreeding in Mimulus. She is doing an REU at Mountain Lake Biological Station in summer 2015 and will continue her research in the lab  in fall 2015.

 Former Members of the Roach Lab


Richard Shefferson (post doc)

  • PhD. Rich has done some innovative analysis on the long-term Plantago dataset including reverse-age analysis, the frequency and timing of reproduction, and the impact of genetics and the environment on population dynamics.  He is currently an Associate Professor of Plant Ecology in the Department of General Systems Studies at the University of Tokyo in Japan.

Jeff Dudycha (post doc)

  • PhD. Jeff took major responsibility for doing the crosses and planting the first cohorts of our large experimental population of nearly 30,000 individuals of Plantago.  He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina. 

Stephanie Goodrich PhD (graduate student)  

  • PhD. Stephanie’s research focused on the question, how does the intensity and direction of selection change across the life cycle and across environments?  She is currently raising her two daughters and hopes to return to science teaching when they are older.  

Nicholas Priest (graduate student)

  • PhD . As a graduate student Nick did his work on the effects of maternal mating on offspring fitness in Drosophila melanogaster. He is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Biology & Biochemistry at the University of Bath, England.

Eric Yoshizuka (graduate student)

  • MS. Eric’s thesis work focused on plastic growth responses to herbivory.  He is currently an Instructor of Biology and Laboratory Coordinator at Bridgewater College.

Sarah Tacke (graduate student)

  • MA. in Biological Conservation. Sarah used the Plantago dataset to address questions about the timing of reproduction across age and years.  She is currently the Assistant Coach for softball at Iona College.

Erika Mudrak (lab tech)

  • PhD. Statistical Consulting Unit, Cornell University

Elizabeth Ostrowski (lab tech)

  • PhD. Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, University of Houston

Caroline Ridley (lab tech)

  • PhD. Ecologist, Environmental Protection Agency

Andrew Wozniak (lab tech)

  • PhD. Post-Doctoral Associate, Old Dominion University